Biochemical and structural analysis of 14 mutant adsl enzyme complexes and correlation to phenotypic heterogeneity of adenylosuccinate lyase deficiency

Hum Mutat. 2010 Apr;31(4):445-55. doi: 10.1002/humu.21212.


Adenylosuccinate lyase (ADSL) deficiency is neurometabolic disease characterized by accumulation of dephosphorylated enzyme substrates SAICA-riboside (SAICAr) and succinyladenosine (S-Ado) in body fluids of affected individuals. The phenotypic severity differs considerably among patients: neonatal fatal, severe childhood, and moderate phenotypic forms correlating with different values for the ratio between S-Ado and SAICAr concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid have been distinguished. To reveal the biochemical and structural basis for this phenotypic heterogeneity, we expressed and characterized 19 ADSL mutant proteins identified in 16 patients representing clinically distinct subgroups. Respecting compound heterozygosity and considering the homotetrameric structure of ADSL, we used intersubunit complementation and prepared and characterized genotype-specific heteromeric mutant ADSL complexes. We correlated clinical phenotypes with biochemical properties of the mutant proteins and predicted structural impacts of the mutations. We found that phenotypic severity in ADSL deficiency is correlated with residual enzymatic activity and structural stability of the corresponding mutant ADSL complexes and does not seem to result from genotype-specific disproportional catalytic activities toward one of the enzyme substrates. This suggests that the S-Ado/SAICAr ratio is probably not predictive of phenotype severity; rather, it may be secondary to the degree of the patient's development (i.e., to the age of the patient at the time of sample collection).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenylosuccinate Lyase / chemistry
  • Adenylosuccinate Lyase / deficiency*
  • Adenylosuccinate Lyase / genetics*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Enzyme Stability
  • Genetic Heterogeneity*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Multienzyme Complexes / chemistry*
  • Multienzyme Complexes / deficiency*
  • Multienzyme Complexes / genetics
  • Mutant Proteins / chemistry*
  • Mutant Proteins / genetics*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Multienzyme Complexes
  • Mutant Proteins
  • Adenylosuccinate Lyase